We have stressed on many different occasions the importance of monitoring your credit. In order to do this, you will have to actually have your credit report in hand and be able to go over it with a fine-toothed comb in order to make sure everything on it is completely accurate.
You can obtain a credit report obviously by paying for it, but there are also several free methods to obtain one.
If you choose to pay for a credit report, there are numerous services offering access to one or more credit services for a monthly fee.
Some credit cards will automatically offer this service and others will offer this at a discounted rate. You will get immediate Internet access to the reports whenever you want to see them.
The website http://www.annualcreditreport.co.uk/ offers free annual credit report to all subscribers. There is a one-time registration fee of £5.
This is NOT an annual fee and you will receive your free report every year thereafter. It is a low budget solution for UK residents so they can check their credit once per calendar year.
If you apply for credit and are turned down, you are entitled to a free credit report. All you have to do is include the declination letter with a note to the reporting credit agency that you would like to have a copy of your credit report.
The agency is required to return a copy of the credit report used that caused your application to be denied.
Anyone who has fallen victim to identity theft is also entitled to a free credit report. You will need this to look over all of your current information to ensure that everything is correct and accurate.
Identity thieves will often change address and other information to suit their needs. Report any discrepancies at once so they may be corrected.
In most cases, if there is a problem on one credit report, it will be on all three. However, there are times when the information is lagging with one or more of the agencies.
In most of the examples given above, you will only receive a copy of your credit report from one agency, but you should check all three agencies at least once a year.
If you ever do find a discrepancy on your report, it is imperative that you immediately check with the other agencies and file a report to have the information corrected ASAP.